A collection of material related to
Benson John Lossing, American artist and historian.
Benson John Lossing (1813-1891) was an American artist and historian. Lossing was born in
Beekman, New York, his father was descended from a family of old Dutch stock and his mother
was a Quaker; they both died during his childhood. He had little formal education and was
mainly self-taught through reading history books. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed
to a Poughkeepsie watchmaker and was soon taken into partnership; at twenty-two, he became
joint owner and editor of two local papers: "The Telegraph" and "The Casket," a monthly,
which Lossing illustrated with wood engravings. Throughout his career he was
author-illustrator of some thirty major works of history, as well as a collaborator on many
other publications. He received several honorary degrees and was a member of numerous
learned societies. On June 18, 1833, Lossing married his first wife Alice Barrit, who died
in 1855; he married Helen Sweet in 1868. During his life, Lossing collected over 5,000 books
and documents related to the American Revolution and the framing of the Constitution. He
died at home in Dover Plains, New York, in June 1891.
3 Linear Feet
(3 boxes, 2 oversize folders)
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